Location: Virginia

Age at diagnosis: 32

Diagnosis: Squamous cell carcinoma

Stage of cancer: II

How my story begins: I was diagnosed with stage 2B cervical cancer in November 2021, just four short months after my Mom, who was my absolute best friend, had passed away.

How I felt after diagnosis: After losing my mom, finding out that I had cancer was just another punch to the gut. Just something else to pray about! I’m very strong in my faith and have been digging deeper and deeper into my Bible!

Telling my family and friends: I found out my diagnosis while I was working. I work with my aunt and she was the first to find out. She sent me home from work so I could just have time to myself. Next to find out was my husband, who lived 10 hours away due to being in the military. Then the rest of my family who I lived with found out later that day. It really hurt my heart to tell my Dad who at the time had just been diagnosed with dementia. I could just see the worry in his eyes. But I reassured him I was going to be just fine and fight through this with all the strength he and my mom instilled in me!!

My treatment: My doctor felt that a hysterectomy would not suffice at the moment so six chemo treatments, eight weeks of radiation therapy along with five rounds of brachytherapy it was!

How I felt after treatment: I was ecstatic to be finished with treatment! I didn’t lose my hair but I felt absolutely horrible throughout! I was starting to feel better and get back to my old self again!

What was most difficult for me: Just knowing that I had cancer, something that kills so many people was so shocking to me. I did get really depressed and had days where I didn’t think I was going to make it through but I couldn’t let my family and friends down! That is who I have fought so hard for!

What I did to help myself: I kept reassuring myself that I was going to be ok! And looked towards my family for help keeping my spirits up!

Where I am today: I am a 2X cervical cancer survivor! I had a reoccurrence found in May 2023. I had a major surgery known as a total pelvic exenteration. That entails a radical hysterectomy, the removal of my rectum and bladder also a vaginal reconstruction. So today I wear two ostomy bags!

What I want other women to know: I do not want ANYONE to go through a second of anything I’ve gone through on this journey! I am an open book about my whole journey and try my best to answer any questions thrown at me!

How I will try to help others: I would love to help raise awareness about the HPV vaccine and cervical cancer!